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Scrap Guide- #7 Recycling A/C units

03-16-10scrap aluminum copper radiators

Spring seems to have arrived early this year in Michigan, and it seems like not long from now we will have the air conditioning running at full blast. If you are replacing an Air Conditioning unit this year, it is important to know that your old unit has value at the scrapyard. Whether you are replacing a small residential unit, or a large rooftop unit, it is worthwhile to recycle it.

As we told you in our last scrap guide, before an A/C unit can be recycled, all freon must be removed. Freon is not to be vented, but properly reclaimed by a certified technician. Once the unit is free of all CFC’s, it is time to start upgrading your metal.

While a majority of your A/C unit will be bought as sheet iron, with a little work you can separate out a lot of nonferrous metal. If you remove the fan motor, it can be sold as an electric motor. Electric motors are typically worth double the sheet iron price. A/C units will also contain a coil made up of aluminum and copper. If this coil has steel flanges it will be graded as a dirty aluminum copper radiator, but removing the steel flanges will earn you the clean aluminum copper radiator price. You can also cut all of the copper wiring out of the unit and sell it as insulated copper wire.

Summer is right around the corner, and if you are not sure if your A/C unit can make it through another season, keep in mind recycling your old one will help offset the cost of replacing it.

Date: 03.16.2012